Welcome to the weekend! The fact that you're reading this right now means that we either all survived the end of the world, or we all misunderstood the Mayans and miscalculated the date of our supposed demise. Whatever the case, we're here, and it's the weekend -- and it's a holiday weekend at that. So apocalypse or no, this is all the reason you need to party like there's no tomorrow. Obviously, there's a ton of shows to choose from, and we've got them all listed in concert calendar if you'd like to sort through them. Otherwise, we've picked the five best concerts below. Keep reading for a full rundown.
See also: - KTCL Hometown for the Holidays 2012 finalists - Ryan Tedder/OneRepublic set up victims' fund for Sandy Hook shooting tragedy - Del The Funky Homosapien on putting more thought into the lyrics for Deltron's new album
5. DEL THE FUNKY HOMOSAPIEN @ CERVANTES' | FRI, 12/21/12 When Del the Funky Homosapien burst onto the scene in 1991 with his debut album, I Wish My Brother George Was Here, he was considered a weird, eclectic MC. Since he was Ice Cube's cousin, however, hip-hop heads gave him the benefit of the doubt. Long before Lupe Fiasco and Pharrell Williams even thought to embrace the Thrasher nation, Del catered to the skater crowd. Shortly after issuing George, he formed the Hieroglyphics crew, which introduced Souls of Mischief and Casual to the hip-hop world. The MC amassed a loyal following, releasing several underground albums through his own Hiero imprint, in addition to several successful collaborations with the likes of Dan the Automator (Deltron 3030) and Gorillaz.
4. HOMETOWN FOR THE HOLIDAYS @ CASSELMAN'S | SAT, 12/22/12 Once again it's on. The finalists have been announced for KTCL's annual Hometown for the Holidays promotion. Although some are understandably loathsome of such battle of the bands types of gigs, Hometown for the Holidays is a great gift to the scene. Is there any other city in the country with a radio station that creates this kind of exposure for its scene, putting no less than ten local acts into rotation for a few weeks? Exactly. Even if a band doesn't win, it wins. And when it wins, it wins big (see 2011's winner, Churchill, which recently joined the roster of Octone Records, and 2010's winner, Air Dubai, which has reportedly inked a deal with Hopeless Records). This year, there are a handful of returning contenders from last year, including My Body Sings Electric, last year's runner-up pictured above, but there are also a bunch of fresh new faces. Tonight at 5 p.m., Nerf will reveal which three bands will compete tomorrow night at Casselman's for the title. Admission is free.
3. ONEREPUBLIC'S DENVER ACOUSTIC CHRISTMAS @ OGDEN | 12/21/12 Last year, OneRepublic frontman Ryan Tedder, who makes his home in Denver, assembled a bunch of friends for a special holiday concert at the Ogden Theatre. Dubbed Denver Acoustic Christmas, the inaugural concert featured OneRepublic, of course, with Isaac Slade and Joe King of the Fray, Matt Morris, Bop Skizzum and some of the folks from Flobots. For this year's concert, Tedder enlisted Big Head Todd & the Monsters and Zach Heckendorf, in addition to Flobots, who are making a return appearance. The show sold out a few weeks ago, but a limited number of tickets went on sale yesterday. As they did last year, proceeds for the gig will benefit Children's Hospital, Food Bank of the Rockies and the Denver Santa Claus Shop.
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2. BORN IN THE FLOOD @ GOTHIC THEATRE | FRI, 12/21/12 Most people these days probably know Nathaniel Rateliff best as an acclaimed singer-songwriter with an album out on Rounder Records who's toured and shared bills locally with Mumford & Sons. Before he embarked on a successful solo career, though, he fronted a band called Born in the Flood, one of the most heralded and popular local acts of the previous decade. The band's anthemic, stirring music was often compared to that of Coldplay or Radiohead, without ever really sounding like either -- although Born in the Flood's expansive rock sound did explore similar emotional terrain. The band put out a small number of strong releases before going on hiatus, while Rateliff focused on his then-solo project, the Wheel, which later evolved into a full-time endeavor. For his seventh annual holiday show, Rateliff, along with Joseph Pope, has reconvened the group, giving fans a rare chance to see their soulfully cathartic band in action again, along with Nathan & Stephen and In the Whale.
1. CLUTCH @ FILLMORE AUDITORIUM | FRI, 12/21/12 Clutch has dodged being saddled with a label, primarily because of the illusion of reinvention it's projected with each album. But the truth is that it's just an illusion. Clutch is set in its ways, yet all of its music sounds like bold experimentation -- even on albums like 2007's From Beale Street to Oblivion, in which the act shed the metal leanings that colored earlier efforts in favor of a more refined bluesy swagger, which was really a continuation of 2005's Robot Hive/Exodus.